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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 2 – PHILOSOPHICAL & SCIENTIFIC ANTECEDENTS OF PSYCHOLOGY Dr. Nancy Alvarado."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Dark and Middle Ages

3 Images of the Dark Ages

4 Why Were the Dark Ages Dark?  The Roman Empire had preserved knowledge, but it collapsed and was overrun by Barbarians.  Access to the accumulated knowledge was preserved in Muslim libraries but these were inaccessible because the West was mostly Christian.  The Medieval Church discouraged literacy, free thought, and scientific inquiry beyond the revealed wisdom of clerics & church scholars (St. Augustine).  With the Crusades, knowledge was rediscovered.

5 Muslim Libraries were Rediscovered Launched by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095, the First Crusade was the most successful. Urban gave a dramatic speech urging Christians to swarm toward Jerusalem and make it safe for Christian pilgrims by taking it away from the Muslims.

6 One View of the Dark Ages

7 Science in the Dark Ages  Hothersall – the historian Kemp asserts there was innovation and science during the Dark Ages:  Stirrups used for the first time in war (600’s AD/CE).  A biography of Charlemagne was published (800’s).  Domesday Book (1086 survey done for King William I of England) recorded 6000 watermills in Britain.  Windmill invented in 1180 (taxed by the Vatican).  It would be odd if there were no progress at all, but this is not comparable to what was seen in Greece & Rome nor was learning cumulative.

8 Medieval Period  Population increased putting pressure on peasants.  Landowners had the advantage, there was famine.  14 universities were established in 12 th & 13 th centuries, including Oxford & Cambridge.  Civil war and wars between France, Italy & England disrupted the 14 th century.  Plague (Black Death, 1348-1350) killed 1/3 of the population of Europe.

9 Gothic Architecture Gothic Cathedrals are intricately designed architectural features, which date back to 1144 and possible even earlier. The architecture used to make these magnificent buildings took a very long time and it involved many different forms of talent, and skill as well as hard to find materials.

10 Scenes of the Plague Years Plague-inspired art. Images of the grim reaper originate from this time.

11 Psychology in the Middle Ages  Psychological questions belonged to religion.  In “Confessions,” St. Augustine (4 th century) disclosed psychological emotions, thoughts, motives, memories.  God was the ultimate truth.  Knowing God was the ultimate goal of the human mind.  Truth dwells within every person – turn inward.  St. Thomas Aquinas reinterpreted Aristotle and established scholasticism – reason as a complement to faith in the search for truth.

12 The Renaissance (Rebirth)  The invention of movable type made printing inexpensive, permitting the spread of ideas across Europe via books, including to scholars & others.  Prescientific psychology books appeared:  Psichiologia – Marcus Marulus (1520).  Psychologia hoc est, de hominis perfectione (Psychology on the improvement of man) (1590) edited by Goeckel.  Psychologia – John Broughton (1703) in English.  No scientific study of human behavior was started.

13 Early Cosmology Medieval conceptions of the firmament include a solid orb containing the planets with angels & heaven beyond it. Here, a traveler sticks his head through it.

14 Renaissance Science  The view of man’s place in the universe changed.  Copernicus (1543) demoted humans from a central to a peripheral position – his system was called antireligious.  Galileo (1610) confirmed his view that the Earth goes around the sun, not vice versa, as did Bruno.  Galileo also developed a method of manipulating variables while controlling other factors in expts.  Goaded by Martin Luther’s Protestant Reformation, the Catholic church was unreceptive to Galileo’s new theory -- Bruno was burned at the stake.

15 The Reformation Split the Church Protestants: Lutherans Anglicans Puritans Episcopalians Presbyterians Methodists Baptists etc. Eastern Orthodox

16 A Plea for Freedom of Inquiry  Galileo believed in the power of reason: “…in questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”  The next advances came from Protestant countries.  Isaac Newton revolutionized physics by developing a new optics (theory of light) and laws of physics.  Vesalius developed an anatomy of the human body.  Harvey studied the movement of the heart and the motion of blood using experimental methods.

17 Three Scientific Geniuses Issac Newton (1642-1727) Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) William Harvey (1578-1657)

18 Rene Descartes (1596-1650)  At age 23, a dream revealed a “Spirit of Truth,” a vision of a new system of science and mathematics so he renounced idleness to search for truth.  He first combined algebra & geometry into analytic geometry, published 18 years later as “La Geometrie”.  He lived in 24 homes in 13 cities during 20 years in Spain-occupied Holland, hiding out from the Inquisition.  Queen Christina of Sweden summoned him to tutor her on “How to live happily and still not annoy God.”  He died of pneumonia 4 months later in her court.

19 Contributions to Philosophy  Descartes believed in applying logic rigorously to discover truth.  Descartes was a devout Catholic but he sometimes doubted the existence of God, so he was heretical.  Cogito ergo sum – I doubt, thus I think, therefore I exist.  He considered the mind different than the body.  Having different substance, different functions, bound by different laws.  The body is nothing more than a complex self- regulating machine functioning without the mind.

20 Ideas about the Body  Hollow tubes of minute threads contain subtle fluids (animal spirits) distilled from the blood, flowing to the senses for sensation and movement.  Reflexes operate as a hydraulic pathway between body and brain, pores are synapses.  The body is infinitely more complex than a machine designed by humans because invented by God.  Animals only have reflexes but humans can control the opening of pores to control reflex actions.  The pineal gland is where mind and body meet.

21 Rene Descartes

22 Ideas about the Ideas & Passions  Two major classes of ideas exist in the mind:  Innate ideas – inborn, time, space, motion, God.  Derived ideas – arising from experience, based on memories of past events (open pores stay open).  Passions arise from the body and cause actions.  6 primary passions (wonder, love, hate, desire, joy, sadness) – other passions are mixtures of these.  Animals do not possess minds so cannot think, be self-aware or have language – have no feelings.

23 Julien de La Mettrie (1709-1751)  La Mettrie published “L’homme Machine” (Man the Machine) in 1748, arguing that people are solely machines, explained through mechanistic principles.  People are motivated by hedonistic drives (pleasure, pain) not reasoning.  Degrees of thought are present in animals not just people – cognition is a continuum across organisms.  His prediction that apes can use language has been confirmed by those studying chimpanzees.

24 Post-Renaissance Philosophy  Empiricism – emphasized the effects of experience on a passive mind.  Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley.  Associationism – the active mind forms associations.  Hume, Hartley, James and John Stuart Mill  Nativism – the contents of the mind are influenced by its inborn structure, not just experience.  Leibniz, Kant (German philosophers)  Timeline --

25 17 th Century British Empiricism  Empiricists (British):  Hobbes  Locke  Berkeley  Nativist counter-voice:  Leibniz (German)  Earlier Empiricists:  Aristotle  Earlier Nativists:  Socrates  Plato  Descartes (French)

26 Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)  Hobbes’s views of mind were based on his social and political theories about people in groups.  He believed we are basically aggressive animals banding together for protection from other people.  The only way a group’s integrity can be protected is via a strong, centralized authority, such as a monarch.  This thinking influences current sociobiologists.  Barash (1977) says that because we cannot kill each other without weapons, we have no biological inhibition against aggression like animals do, leading to war, etc.

27 John Locke (1632-1704)  He was the first major British Empiricist, at Oxford.  Locke rejected Descartes & emphasized scientific method & experimentation.  Locke’s Puritanism rejected Descartes’ Catholicism.  Political ideas – people have inalienable rights to personal liberty, equality before the law, religious equality – protected by checks & balances & overthrow  Philosophy of education – people are born good and equal in potential, making education crucial.  Access to education should be available to all children.

28 Locke’s Views on Education  Locke denied existence of innate tendencies, dispositions or fears in children.  The only things we innately fear are loss of pleasure and pain. We avoid whatever has these consequences.  He proposed that children dislike reading because of punishments associated with teaching them.  Locke advanced ideas about the acquisition and treatment of fears similar to Watson, Mary Cover Jones and Wolpe (systematic desensitization).

29 Locke’s “Essay Concerning Human Understanding” (1690)  This work was the beginning of British Empiricism.  Locke sought a set of laws for the human mind, like Newton’s principles of physics.  Locke’s system is atomistic and reductionistic.  Basic elements of mind are ideas.  Ideas come from experience (Locke rejected Descartes).  The “blank slate, page of paper, tablet” comes from Aristotle, but characterized empiricism.  Ideas have two sources: sensation & reflection.

30 Locke & Ideas (Cont.)  Sensations can be illusory or misleading.  Ideas are either simple or complex. Simples ideas form a complex idea in several ways:  By combining several simple ideas into a single one.  By seeing the relation between two simple ideas.  By separating simple ideas from other ideas that go with them – the process of abstraction.  Locke’s idea about combination of ideas is analogous to a chemical compound (from Boyle).

31 George Berkeley (1685-1753)  Wrote three essays that radically extended Locke’s philosophy into subject idealism (immaterialism).  Berkeley argued that because all knowledge of the world comes from experience, the very existence of the external world depends on perception.  Matter exists because it is perceived – matter does not exist without a mind.  The permanence of the world is thus proof of God’s existence.  His book on vision was better regarded in his time.

32 Leibniz – A Nativist Counter-Voice  Leibniz (1646-1716) – Germany’s leading mathematician, wrote to Locke on politics.  His “New Essays on Understanding” rebutted Locke.  He considered animals empirics but said humans were only empirical in ¾ of their acts, not all.  Necessary and inborn truths are ¼ of the mind, the “innate intellect.”  Intellect allows reason & science, gives us knowledge of ourselves and God, is the essence of the human spirit.

33 Leibniz’s Monadology  In “The Monadology,” Leibniz described a system of monads.  Monads are an infinite number of elements composing all being and activity, with no parts, not decomposable.  Monads are indestructible, uncreatable, immutable.  The physical and mental worlds are pluralisms of independent monads that do not interact, in parallel  There is a continuum of consciousness- unconsciousness with different levels of activity, with a threshold for consciousness.

34 Two Empiricists and a Nativist John Locke (1632-1704) George Berkeley (1685-1753) Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (1646-1716)

35 18 -19 th Century British Associationism  Transitional Associationists:  Hume  Hartley  19 th Century Associationists:  James Mill  John Stuart Mill  Bain  Nativist Counter-Voice:  Kant

36 David Hume (1711-1776)  Hume studied “pneumatic philosophy” (the name for the science of mental life).  People are part of nature so should be studied using the methods of studying nature.  He differentiated between impressions & ideas:  When impressions & ideas occur together they become associated with each other.  3 kinds of associations: resemblance,  contiguity in time or space, cause-and-effect relationship.

37 David Hartley (1705-1757)  Hartley said both mind and body are to be studied.  Localized mental faculties to the brain, citing the effects of alcohol, poisons & opiates, blows to the head, on thinking.  He described visual and auditory after-images as vibrations of medullary particules in nerves in the brain.  Vibrations & ideas become associated by occurring simultaneously a sufficient number of times.  This is a kind of biological associationism.

38 Two Mills – Father and Son  James Mill (1773-1836) – wrote a History of British India and an Essay on Government.  Believed his son’s mind was a blank slate and dedicated himself to filling it with maximum knowledge  John Stuart Mill regarded himself as a “dry, hard, logical machine” and became depressed in early 20s.  This led him to recognize the irrational as well as the rational, see humans as more than unfeeling machines.  John Stuart Mill rejected his father’s views on women’s capacities & rights, introduced suffrage bill

39 James Mill (1773-1836)  James Mill wrote “Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind.”  Mill added muscle (kinesthesis), tickling & itching, digestive (alimentary) senses to Aristotle’s 5 senses.  Described stream of consciousness associations.  Some associations stronger than others.  Permanence, certainty & facility determine strength.  Proposed a model of concatenation (joining) of ideas later refined by his son.

40 John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)  Wrote “System of Logic” about metascience – the study of scientific process and assumptions that underlie all sciences, including psychology.  J.S. Mill argued that there can be a science of the mind, but it must be inexact, not deterministic.  If laws of psychology govern behavior will people’s action be predictable, what happen to responsibility and free will?  Saw the need for Ethology – the study of the influence of external circumstances on behavior (not animal).

41 Alexander Bain (1818-1903)  Bain wrote “The Senses and the Intellect,” “The Emotions and the Will,” and “Mind and Body.”  The standard British psychology textbooks for 50 years.  Founded the journal “Mind,” establishing psychology as a field distinct from philosophy.  Developed the concept of habit derived from consequences of random actions, leading directly to Thorndike’s behaviorism.  Stressed the importance of observation, sympathetic to experimental method.

42 Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)  The leading German epistemologist, Kant was a subjectivist, nativist, rationalist successor to Descartes and Leibniz.  Kant wrote “A Critique of Pure Reason” saying that empiricists forgot to ask how experience is possible.  Certain intuitions or categories of understanding are inborn and frame our experiences.  This knowledge is a priori, whereas experiential knowledge is a posteriori (known afterward).  3 categories of mind: cognition, affection, conation.

43 Kant’s View of A Priori Knowledge  Concepts of space and time.  Other intuitions, including cause and effect, reciprocity, reality, existence and necessity.  Higher faculties of reasoning are understanding, judgment, reason.  True science must begin with concepts established a priori by reason alone and deal with observable objects that can be located in time and space.  Psychology lacks this so it cannot be a science.


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